In accordance with this year’s event theme, the Alltech 27th Annual International Animal Health and Nutrition Symposium recognized three Game Changers – Dr. Inge Russell with the 21st Alltech Medal of Excellence, Dr. Ronan Tynan with the 1st Alltech Humanitarian Award and Dr. Peter Van Soest with the 1st Excellence in Ruminant Nutrition Award.
Dr. Inge Russell, who has twice held the title of “Canadian Scientist of the Year,” can now add the 2011 Margin of Excellence Award to her long list of accolades. The award has been presented to forward thinkers since 1991 for significant contributions to animal health and agriculture. Dr. Russell’s work on the biotechnology and fermentation of yeast and algae has resulted in significant improvements in the production of feed, food, beverages, and fuel. Of particular note, she obtained Canada’s first patent for genetically modified yeast specifically designed for biofuel production.
Russell is also passionately committed to education and inspiring innovation through her work as a professor at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland, and an adjunct professor at the University of Western Ontario, Canada. In presenting the award, Dr. Pearse Lyons, president and founder of Alltech, referred to her as the “brainchild” behind Alltech’s Young Scientist Program to which she now serves as scientific advisor. The Alltech Young Scientist Award, which will be announced Tuesday, received more than 5000 undergraduate and graduate entries this year.
Dr. Ronan Tynan became the first winner of the Alltech Humanitarian Award with Dr. Pearse Lyons declaring, “If ever there were a game changer, it is this gentleman.” Despite the amputation of both his legs at age 19, Tynan went on to become an orthopedics physician, achieve 18 gold medals and 14 world records, and become a world-renown singing sensation after a breakthrough appearance on a televised talent show that led to a role as part of The Irish Tenors.
Dr. Tynan continues to inspire audiences globally through his story of triumph and powerful voice, which brought the Alltech Symposium to its feet after renditions of “Don Quixote” and “Hallelujah.” Reflecting on his own story, Dr. Tynan attributed much of his success to the love and encouragement of family and friends. He implored Symposium guests to surround themselves with positive people and never forget those who have mentored or encouraged them in their journey. “Belief and encouragement are the matches that light the candle of achievement,” said Dr. Tynan.